In 2006 a little girl with low vision by the name of Nandini came to Mathru. She spent four years at the school learning Braille and growing and developing among her peers. During the summer of 2010, she contracted chicken pox. Unfortunately her family was located in a poorer, more rural area of India where medicine is not readily available, and as a result the high fever caused her to return to Mathru blind, deaf, and mute. In response to this event the Nandini Project was born.
Included in the Nandini Project are five smaller projects:
Centre for the Multisensory Disabled Children
This project aims to teach students, like Nandini, with multisensory disabilities and give them the necessary independence to function in today’s world. There is no prescribed syllabus for these children because of the variation in disabilities from child to child. Teachers adjust the syllabi according to the nature of each child’s disability and the rate at which each child learns. The initial focus for children at this centre is teaching basic living and communication skills. In addition speech therapy, physiotherapy, and physical exercises are available for students who would benefit.
Free School for Hearing Impaired Children
In 2012 Mathru began a free school for hearing impaired children based on the request of many local parents. The school has many qualified teachers including special educators who are trained in sign language. These teachers instruct students in Indian Sign Language (ISL) as well as lip reading. In addition to reading, writing, and basic maths, students also engage in sports, yoga, painting, and various arts and crafts. The school is following the State syllabus with English medium of instruction.
Free Computer Training Classes For Underprivileged Children
The Trust has set up a computer lab with the help of Tata Consultancy Services. Local volunteers from an organization called Prayukthis teach basic computer skills to underprivileged children. Special classes are to be conducted for underprivieged girls who endeavour to take the 10th standard public exam.
Teacher Training Programme
This programme is conducted in association with the CBR Network, which is an international organisation working to build a strong collaborative network of all NGOs in the field of community based rehabilitation. The CBR Network has evaluated the availability of adequate facilities and competence of Mathru and has granted permission for Mathru to conduct teacher training programmes. Now Mathru is one of CBR Network’s recognized Study Centres, which has helped Mathru broaden its scope and vision. Mathru will not only continue to provide free education to differently abled children, but will also impart training to teachers who in turn can educate disabled children. This is a sustainable and holistic approach to providing quality education for the differently abled.
Manufacturing And Free Distribution Of Sanitary Napkins For Underprivileged Girls
Adolescent girls in underprivileged rural areas are often forced to miss a week of school during each month due to menstruation. In an effort to eliminate this unnecessary school absence Mathru, in 2012 with the financial assistance of Mr Sirur Reddy from Seattle, USA, began a programme to make and distribute sanitary napkins to girls in underprivileged areas.
Manufacturing And Sale Of Leaf Plates
Leaf plates are a nature product and the manufacturing and sale of such products has provided jobs for three women so far.
A deafblind project at D.J. Halli, Bangalore
On the 18th of August 2014 Mathru School started a deaf-blind project in D.J Halli, in association with Sense International India. This centre has 20 deaf-blind children/children with multisensory disabilities (14 children are centre based and 06 children are home based). In this centre there are two special educators and one centre assistant are working with the children. This centre is functioning in a room which belongs to the Government school.
This is parent’s oriented programme. The educators are teaching skills like toilet-training, brushing, bathing, dressing, eating, combing hair, grooming, communication, personal hygiene, sensory training, safety skills, motor skills, basic orientation in mobility, social interaction, pre-academic, and behavioral skills like identifying the family members, greeting, expressing the needs, interacting with the strangers etc. will be taught through tactile sign language/ sign language by the special educators and trained teachers. Weekly once educators will also go for home visits (to facilitate those who are unable to come to the centre). Special educators have to maintain individual educational plan. Educators have to prepared individual time table for each child as per his/her disability and also IEP (Individual Education Plan).
In this centre most of the children are suffering from epilepsy. The Mathru Trust is provides, medicine, aids appliance and enriched nutritive drink.